Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/788

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432 BOLIVIA

Oruro is now complete. Nearly 500 miles of this railway are built in Bolivian territory. Besides this, concessions have been given for other lines which are being studied and will, it is stated, soon begin to be built— namely, from the city of La Paz to the Peruvian frontier, to join the line from Mollendo on the Pacific coast to Puno on Lake Titicaca ; from the River Paraguay, in the east of Bolivia, to the city of Santa Cruz ; from Oruro to Cochabamba ; and from Challapata, near Oruro, to Potosi. The route for an international rail- way from Bolivia to the Argentine Republic is now being surveyed. New roads are being constructed in many parts of the country, and 6 bridges (suspen- sion and Eitfei) have been recently built or are purchased to be placed over rivers.

There is a line of telegraph between Puno, on Lake Titicaca, and La Paz, 145 miles, and from La Paz to Oruro, Cochabamba, and Colquechaca ] another from Sucre to Colquechaca ; another between the capital and Potosi and the Argentine frontier on the one hand and the Pacific coast on the other. The total length of line is 2,260 miles ; offices, 33. In 1897 there were 328 post offices ; the number of letters, postcards, papers, &c., transmitted in 1897 was: internal, 1,983,522; international, 516,722. Bolivia belongs to the postal union.

Money, Weights, and Measures.

In Bolivia there are two commercial banks of issue, the Banco Nacional (paid-up capital 3,000,000 bolivianos), with no official connection with the Government, and the Banco Francisco Argandona, a company en com- mandile, founded in 1893 with paid-up capital of 2,000,000 bolivianos. The bank notes in circulation amount to about 6,600,000 bolivianos. There are also tliree mortgage banks, the Credito Hipotecario de Bolivia, founded i n 1870 ; the Banco Hipotecario Garantizador de Valores, founded in 1887 ; and the Banco Hipotecario Nacional, founded in 1893, each of these three banks having a paid-up capital of 100,000 bolivianos.

The ? » iviano or Dollar, of 100 centavos, was struck on the basis of the 5-franc pieee ; actual value, about 1.9. 9rf. This coin weighs 25 grammes '900 fine. Other silver coins are 50-, 20-, 10, and 5-centavo pieces, called re- spectively the half-boliviano, peseta, real, and lialf-real. No gold pieces have been coined for many years. Notwithstanding the large production of silver there is scarcity of silver coin, for the metal not at once exported is minted and. eiaves the country as coin. The Potosi mint now coins only half bolivianos an i 20-oeaL pieces, 8 per cent, lighter than the old boliviano. The annual issue of silver coin amounts to about 1,500,000 bolivianos. There are also 5-cent and 10-cent coins of nickel.

The metric system of weights and measures is used by the administration, and prescribed by iaw, but the old Spanish system is also employed, The?n-a?'c weight, employed for mineral produce, is equal to 507 lb.

Consular Representative.

Of Bolivia in Great Britain. MinisUr Resident. — Felix A. Aramayo ; appointed 1897. Consul.— k. Ballivian.

Great Britain has no representative in Bolivia.